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Shorted reverse lamp switch on the transmission? Disconnect the switch and see if your lamps go out.
 

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Sounds like the neutral safety/backup switch is bad or needs an adjustment. If your car has a console it is located on the shifter. Here are pictures of the switch for a column and console used in an automatic transmission;

 

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:rofl:

Mine have NOT worked in 12 years! :lol:

Russ
 

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Poof

Crawl underneath and look at the manual shifter linkage. There is (should be) a "3 rod connecting the reverse lever on the transmission to the backup light switch. Be careful, it is held in place by two VERY small Jesus clips. disconnect one end of the rod and then manually move the V shaped lever on the back-up light switch. Watch to see if the lights go off and on. This will help you narrow down the culprit before to tear the harnesses apart. My guess is you'll find the back-up switch is either mis-adjusted or disconnected. Best to check the mechanic causes before trouble-shooting the possible electircal causes. M&H Harnesses makes a good back up switch if it needs replacing. Mike
 
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